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Illinois Graduate Student Awarded Boren Funding for Overseas Language Study

A headshot of Maxine Katz, photographed against a blue sky.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate student Maxine Katz has received the prestigious Boren Award for study abroad during the 2023-24 academic year.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program, a federal initiative designed to increase U.S. expertise in languages and cultures in world regions critical to U.S. interests. The awards provide U.S. graduate and undergraduate students with an opportunity for intensive language study and cultural immersion.

Maxine Katz of Chicago is a master’s student in religion and a 2022-23 FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellow for Hindi with the U. of I.’s Center for Global Studies. Katz will study Hindi through Boren’s South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative, beginning with a summer program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by a year at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur, India.

Katz studies Hinduism and Jainism in northwest India and the experiences of Hindu and Jain practitioners throughout India’s history. She also is an avid painter and plans to take Indian painting method classes during her year abroad. She hopes to work for the U.S. government before pursuing doctoral studies in religion.

Photographs of all four Boren awardeesUndergraduate students Neel Khattri (Senior, Computer Engineering), Kellie Sucha (Freshman, Engineering) and Tina Wayne (Senior, Political Science) were also named recipients of Boren Awards for 2023-2024. Visit the Illinois News Bureau for details.

For more information about Boren Scholarships, contact David Schug, the director of the National and International Scholarships Program. For more information about Boren Fellowships, contact Dana Johnson, the assistant director of external fellowships for the Graduate College.